A world that was both familiar and strange

Paul Wilson explores the life and landscapes of Stieg Larsson @ The Walrus. I was late coming to Stieg Larsson and his wildly popular Millennium Trilogy. Last spring, when I started reading the first volume, some 20 million people had already beaten me to it. By August, when I finished the third, that figure had… Read more »

The Fame Machine

John Tresch considers the technologies of fame from Gilgamesh to Facebook @ Lapham’s Quarterly. “The Fame Machine,” a brief satire included in French author Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam’s collection of 1883, Cruel Tales, asks in precise, concrete terms just what celebrity is. Fame—or “la gloire” in the original, which means glory and renown, as… Read more »

Precision in imagination and in language

Sam Cooney ponders Italo Calvino’s ideas on language and literary experience @ The Rumpus. “In an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing, and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogenous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not… Read more »